THQ Nordic is build­ing a ros­ter of cult clas­sics

The fast-grow­ing pub­lisher has been snap­ping up ips left and right

Games TM - - CONTENTS -

FOUNDED: 2008 (AS NORDIC GAMES PUB­LISH­ING) | KEY GAMES: THE BOOK OF UN­WRIT­TEN TALES, DEADFALL AD­VEN­TURES, THIS IS THE PO­LICE 1 TIME­S­PLIT­TERS

THQ Nordic, in mid-au­gust, grabbed the rights to this clas­sic shooter fran­chise, a se­ries fa­mously started by Free Rad­i­cal De­sign, a stu­dio cre­ated by for­mer Rare de­vel­op­ers who had worked on Gold­eneye 007 and Per­fect Dark. The last game in the se­ries was Time­s­plit­ters: Fu­ture Per­fect. Fun­nily enough, the cur­rent in­car­na­tion of Free Rad­i­cal De­sign, now named Dam­buster Stu­dios, was ac­quired by THQ Nordic in Fe­bru­ary 2018 when the pub­lisher took over Koch Me­dia and Deep Sil­ver. So, all the pieces have clearly come to­gether for the old team to re­new the fran­chise 13 years later.

2 SEC­OND SIGHT

In the deal that saw THQ Nordic grab up the rights to Time­s­plit­ters, it also picked up Sec­ond Sight, also orig­i­nally de­vel­oped by Free Rad­i­cal and per­haps even more of a cult gem than Time­s­plit­ters. Sec­ond Sight was orig­i­nally launched in 2004 and saw you con­trol an am­ne­siac with pow­er­ful psy­chic abil­i­ties. It hap­pened to be re­leased in the same year as Psi-ops from Mid­way, an­other game that also fo­cused on psy­chic and tele­ki­netic abil­i­ties, which is con­sid­ered to have hurt its chances on re­lease.

Its core premise and me­chan­ics were per­haps a lit­tle ahead of the time and tech­nol­ogy avail­able, so we’d be fas­ci­nated to see it given an­other shot.

3 KING­DOMS OF AMALUR

The most re­cent ac­qui­si­tion from THQ Nordic saw it pick up the rights to King­doms Of Amalur, a ti­tle owned by 38 Stu­dios, which closed in 2012. The orig­i­nal con­cept of the game world though was cre­ated by for­mer table­top game de­signer and El­der Scrolls de­vel­oper Ken Rol­ston, in con­junc­tion with leg­endary comic-book artist and mogul Todd Mc­far­lane han­dling art and es­teemed com­poser Grant Kirkhope on the score. The fi­nal re­sult was a far more ac­tion-ori­en­tated role-play­ing ex­pe­ri­ence than some might have ex­pected. It of­fered very dis­tinct com­bat styles de­pend­ing on what weapon com­bi­na­tion you chose to spe­cialise in. It def­i­nitely had more to of­fer and there was an MMO in devel­op­ment, which THQ Nordic also now owns.

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